K.K. Downing Knows Why He Wasn’t Asked to Rejoin Judas Priest
Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing followed his original resignation letter with an “angrier” note in 2011, and he suspects that’s the reason he wasn’t asked to rejoin the band earlier this year.
The Guardian reports in a new interview that the first letter had been “a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music,” while the second was “angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties,” and it was a “key reason” behind the lack of a reunion offer when Glenn Tipton announced his retirement from playing live for health reasons.
“I felt I was in crisis,” Downing said in the interview. “Whether it sounds selfish or not, everything seems to go out of the window in a crisis.” He described feeling isolated within the band. “I didn’t complain much," he explained. "But we would go through periods where you felt it’s best not to say things. It’s a bomb ready to go off.”
The article quoted from Downing's memoir Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest, which comes out this week. “I never found Glenn to be particularly easy to get on with," he writes. "Very early on, I was fully aware of the limited conditions under which he operated. If you were going to relate to him, you would do so entirely on his terms.”
Even though he called his replacement Richie Faulkner a “clone” – after having previously queried the claim that Faulkner reinvigorated the band – Downing suggested he could still consider going back. Referring to a potential induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he asked, “Could that be done without me? Don’t know. Could the 50th anniversary be done without me? Don’t know.”
And despite the acrimony with his former colleagues, he added, “If something happened to me, I’d like to think the guys would come to my funeral, and vice versa. You never know what’s going to happen.”